Do you love antique cars? Are you a fan of older, outdated vehicles that make up for their mechanical shortcomings with looks and charms? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it’s likely that you’ve been wondering how to restore an antique car. While restoring an antique car can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it, there are some fundamental things that you need to know. Here’s our quick guide explaining everything you need to know if you’re someone who wants to learn how to restore an antique car.
You Won’t Find The Right Antique Car at a Regular Auto Dealer
Before you can even begin to devote much time or effort into the process of restoring an antique car, you first need to find an antique car to restore! Were you aware of the fact that in the year 1913, the Ford Model T became the first mass-produced automobile? Since then, antique automobiles have only become even more difficult to obtain. A dwindling supply of cars coupled with increased consumer demand means that you may have to get inventive about where you go to obtain the right antique car in the first place. After all, if you’ve ever wondered how to restore an antique car, then you have to make sure that you have a model to work with first!
So if you’re still without an antique car and you’re still wondering how to restore an antique car, what can you do? Well, first and foremost, it’s crucial to begin searching for antique cars for sale right away. As we stated earlier, many of these types of cars are hard to come by in the modern world. As a result of this fact, many people tend to snatch them up as soon as they find them. This means that you don’t have a lot of time to waver when you’re trying to figure out how to restore an antique car. Time is of the essence when it’s time to find the right antique car to restore, so don’t waste any time with your search!
Sure, you can always begin your search for the perfect antique car by walking into an auto dealer in your area and seeing what they happen to have available. But a lot of times a car dealer working with modern cars won’t be able to provide you with a car that’s old enough to be considered antique. However, you shouldn’t give up just yet. Many times anyone working at an auto dealer will have some knowledge on the subject. Their information and recommendations just might be able to get you in touch with the right person or dealer who just might have the cars you need to figure out how to restore an antique car. If you’re proactive in your search and you continue to ask the people you know about their knowledge of antique cars and where to find them, you’re sure to find success sooner or later.
Don’t Forget the Fact That You’ll Need Car Insurance Too
When learning how to restore an antique car the journey certainly doesn’t end once you’ve found the perfect vehicle. In fact, the journey doesn’t even end once you’ve completed all necessary steps in the restoration process. That’s right, once all this is complete, you need to remember the fact that you’re still going to need to get some form of car insurance in order to cover your antique car.
So, just how do car insurance policies meant for antique cars differ from car insurance policies that are meant for modern cars? Well, you have a few different options available to you in the case of older cars. If you’re still curious to learn how to restore an antique car, then also learning about how you’ll cover the car with insurance shares an equal weight. As with any other vehicle that needs insurance, you’ll soon discover that no two car insurance policies are the same. For this reason, you should give yourself plenty of time to shop around in order to find the best options that meet the needs of your particular situation.
In any case, most car insurance providers carry some special plans for those who want to learn how to restore an antique car. When you’re the owner of an antique car, whether it’s been restored or not, the chances are that you will not be relying on the car as your primary form of transportation. This means the vehicle will not have as many miles put on it as a daily driver vehicle might. As a result, many car insurance companies offer insurance policies based on the number of miles that you put on the car each year. This is a great option if you’re only planning on taking your antique car to display shows, or out on the road for the occasional drive. While this insurance option represents one helpful feature for antique car owners, there are many more available on today’s market. Make sure you take the time to search for the right policy that meets your needs, no matter how large or small they may happen to be.
Invest in High-Quality Body Work and a New Paint Job
When it comes to the restoration process, you should be prepared to invest some significant resources into working on the body of the antique car you choose. Of course, auto painting is a complex subject that can get even more complex once you throw an antique car into the mix. However, both body work and paint jobs can significantly transform the entire look and feel of your antique car. As a matter of fact, these two things happen to be some of the most important steps in the entire restoration process.
How should you go about finding the right mechanics, body work specialists, and paint job experts to work on your antique car? Well, it may be tempting to take your car into any high rated body shop in your area. While this approach may work in some cases, and for certain vehicles, it’s usually far more advisable to visit a body work and paint shop that specializes in antique cars. As you’ll find throughout the process of learning how to restore an antique car, there are many delicate procedures required to keep your antique car looking at its best. If you trust someone who’s not qualified to do this level of work, then things can quickly and easily take a turn for the worst. Be sure that you’re confident in your ability to seek out auto body shops and paint job specialists who understand the implications in place for an antique car. Furthermore, you should also be sure that whoever is working on your car has some experience with your specific make and/or model. This kind of familiarity can make all the difference when it comes to body work and new paint jobs.
Don’t Neglect Functional Components Such as Brakes
While you may be excited to transform the outside of your antique car with an exciting splash of color or a new exterior accessory, this doesn’t mean you should neglect the more functional aspects of the vehicle. For example, make sure you don’t rush so fast that you forget to have a certified mechanic perform any necessary brake repair or brake inspections before driving the vehicle. While there’s surely no doubt that antique cars look and sound awesome, that doesn’t mean they are not without some potential mechanical issues. By ensuring that you take the time to address any necessary functional repairs, you can fully enjoy the process of driving your restored antique car once you’ve completed the process of learning how to restore an antique car.
Prepare to Seek Out Specialized Car Maintenance When Something Breaks
Once again, owning an antique car means accepting a new set of responsibilities. Repairs on antique cars aren’t usually as straight forward as those same repairs may be in a modern car. Antique car maintenance may not only require the services of a qualified mechanic, but it also may require you to go out of your way in order to find someone with the proper understanding of your particular make and model. The sad fact is that many hobbyists ignore or overlook this simple fact, instead going full steam ahead into learning how to restore an antique car. But those same people find themselves in deep trouble when something on their antique car breaks down, and they don’t have the proper help or resources to get it fixed in a timely, affordable manner. If you haven’t already secured a mechanic who knows how to work on antique cars, then that should be at the top of your priority list once you begin the process of finding out how to restore an antique car.
Consider Replacing the Vehicle’s Engine
Depending on the condition of the antique car that you end up purchasing, you may have to spend some significant money before things are even operational. Sure, something like engine repair might seem like a major drain on your finances, but it’s also something that will benefit your antique car enormously. Of course, one of the main appeals of owning an antique car is having access to the unique parts and components that are hard to come across these days.
Even though you may want to hold on to the engine of your antique car for a collection or souvenir, it’s often best to make sure that your own safety and performance are put first. Driving around a car that has an engine from a different century may seem like a fun idea at first, but you’ll soon recognize that the risks associated with this might outweigh the benefits. Antique engines often produce wasteful fumes and byproducts, and they are far more prone to unexpected mechanical failures. However, you can still enjoy the process of learning how to restore an antique car by simply finding someone who can replace the vehicle’s engine with a more recent one.
Find the Right Supplier When Ordering Parts
Similar to custom body works or paint jobs, you should be prepared to find a supplier who specializes in wholesale auto parts for antique cars. In a number of cases, it’s not going to be easy or cheap to locate certain out of date parts that match your vehicle exactly. When you add the complications of a low-quality auto parts dealer into the mix, things get even tougher. Thankfully, you can do your part to avoid any further problems by finding an auto parts supplier who has demonstrated the industry knowledge and expertise needed to provide you with accurate parts for your antique car.
As with finding a car to restore, you may need to ask around in your network in order to find a high-quality parts supplier who focuses on antique cars. Doing so doesn’t always have to be a difficult process, but it may be time-consuming in some cases. However, it’s well worth it once you get set up with an auto parts dealer that you know you can trust. Plus, working with experts in the field is all part of the enjoyment associated with figuring out how to restore an antique car in the first place. Ask around for recommendations from people in your life that you know and trust. Of course, it’s also possible to seek out information online by visiting hobby websites and social media groups that hold a shared interest in your antique car of choice.
Routine Car Care Keeps Things Looking Fresh
A car wash on an antique car is even more beneficial than a car wash on a modern car. This type of routine car care is necessary if you want to keep your vehicle looking and running its best. Don’t forget about other more technical routines either, such as regular oil changes. Even if a vehicle you choose to drive is decades old, you might be surprised just how well it can look and run if you’re diligent about attending to its needs on a regular basis.
Talk to Other Antique Car Enthusiasts
Finally, you should remember that there’s a lot to learn by just getting out there and speaking to other antique car enthusiasts. Whether they drive an original Model T or an old muscle car, there’s bound to be some shared ground that you can explore in order to expand your own knowledge of how to restore an antique car. You may even end up making friends and finding an entirely new community that makes the experience of restoring an antique car that much more enjoyable.
As you can see, there’s certainly a lot of steps involved if you want to learn how to restore an antique car. However, once you get started, you’ll find the process to be one that is both fulfilling and enjoyable on a number of different levels. We hope our brief list of things you should know if you want to learn how to restore an antique car was helpful. Good luck and safe driving out there!